What Are You Thankful For?

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Written by Paul Kienzle, Director of ESL Latino

Did you know that God fashioned our bodies in such a way that they benefit from having an attitude of thankfulness? Practicing gratitude affects the brain by producing dopamine which can decrease pain levels, improve sleep, and relieve stress and depression.  It can even help lessen negative emotions like guilt or anxiety. God wants us to be thankful people not only to honor Him but also to bless us. He asks us to be thankful always. This command is one that takes discipline and courage, especially when walking through a difficult situation. I’d like to share with you what I am thankful for within the Mission Adelante family.

I am deeply indebted to God for placing me at Mission Adelante the last three years, and what this organization has taught me. I have learned to love better, to relate more deeply, to celebrate the uniqueness of worshipping Jesus in different cultural contexts, and to empower emerging leaders from our community. I am thankful for the Adelante staff I work alongside, and the encouragement they’ve given me. I am also grateful to our ESL students for allowing me to share life with them. I have grown by getting a glimpse into their life experiences outside the classroom, understanding their unique joys and pains, and seeing their resilience and perseverance. I lack words to describe my respect for our volunteer team, who come Thursday after Thursday and give with open hearts. They are a unified bunch who understand what God is doing through Mission Adelante in our community and have become a vital part of it. I thank God for the people who come to our house church two Sunday evenings a month to study the word of God, share a meal, laugh together and support one another. They have become true friends and blessings to my family and me.

I encourage you to take a moment, on your own or with your family, and recall what you have been thankful for this year!  Whatever the physiological or emotional benefits of thankfulness, know this, that it’s a habit of the heart that God wants us to continually practice.

 “...give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” (ESV, 1 Thess. 5:18)


  • Mission Adelante's Arts Community needs a few more volunteers to teach guitar and keyboard to kids! No need to be an expert. If you enjoy playing a few chords/notes on either instrument and would like to share that ability with others, fill out an interest form at www.missionadelante.org/arts.